Affordable childcare funding pledge

£3m out-of-school childcare fund to be set up to tackle child poverty

Tuesday 25th June 2019

More money is being pledged by the Scottish Government to help families on low incomes access after-school and holiday childcare.

The £3m announcement comes ahead of a government statement tomorrow about plans to introduce a new top-up benefit payment to tackle child poverty.

Ministers are being urged by health groups and social campaigners to introduce an income supplement as quickly as possible, with one doctor telling growing up in poverty can have “devastating” long-term health effects.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell says the new Access to Childcare Fund will help families “that need it most”.

The Clydesdale MSP said: “The evidence shows that providing accessible and affordable out-of-school child care can help low income families maximise their household incomes. Importantly, it can also deliver positive outcomes for children, providing opportunities for play and socialisation which is great for their wellbeing.

“Child poverty levels are lower in Scotland than the rest of the UK - but we believe it is unacceptable it exists at all. This fund is part of the Scottish Government’s bold vision for eradicating child poverty in Scotland.”

Evidence shows the cost of school age childcare could be stop carers looking to take on work or study, or increase their working hours.

Additionally, social isolation experienced by some children during the summer months is believed to affect attainment and wellbeing.

The fund, which will run over a two-year period from April 2020, will establish new projects across Scotland to assess the impact of flexible and affordable out-of-school care for low income families.